Self Confidence

Why do we need to build self confidence? To me confidence has always been the core of self development; the building block on which goal setting, motivation, problem solving, communication, willpower and other aspects of self help stem from. No confidence puts us at a major disadvantage in life.

Definition of Self Confidence

How do you define self confidence? says

“realistic confidence in one’s own judgment, ability, power, etc … belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities”

The word confidence originates from the Latin “confidere”, meaning to trust. Trusting and believing in ourselves, having faith in our ability in whatever situation we need to perform.

Building Self Confidence

To be more confident then, we have to somehow generate this faith or trust in our abilities. Unfortunately, we are constantly being challenged by new situations full of variables we cannot control. In building confidence, we cannot eliminate this uncertainty.

A common approach to build confidence is good preparation. If I have to give a speech tomorrow, I would carefully prepare what I was going to say. I could reassure myself, challenging my automatic negative thoughts. However, even though I’ve given speeches before, there are always going to be variables that I cannot eliminate or control.

Self Confidence

At the heart of building self confidence and becoming more confident is this conundrum of uncertainty, our inability to control the world around us. Whilst there are many other techniques and ideas that we will cover in this blog, the first and most important is to accept this lack of control.

You can build self confidence by not letting the feelings generated by uncertainty take over.  We have an built in system to protect us from danger – “fight or flight” – that creates what we identify as anxiety symptoms when threatened. Tolerate that feeling of anxiety, recognise that uncertainty is a challenge rather than a threat. Once you start to do that, then you’re on the way to building confidence and generally being more confident.

Kristin November 23, 2009 at 3:47 am

Great article David. You are right that the more confident we are, the more we can cope with uncertainty around us.

david December 21, 2009 at 10:08 pm

Hi, this is very good post. Prepration is a very good way to build confidence. Get prepair for any situtation is more important for self confidence. I realy like this post.

cygon December 23, 2009 at 3:59 am

I would be interested in how you balance self-confidence with the ability to change.

I greatly admire people who are able to change their opinion in a discussion (eg. not enter full lockdown defense mode as soon as someone challenges their opinion), so I try my best to be such a person.

However, if one enters a discussion on the point of view that he may be wrong about something, he likely will not sound all that confident, appearing to hold the weaker hand in a discussion and possibly even creating an image of someone who can be bullied around.

Judy Brown February 1, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Hi David – my self-confidence is due for a boost (:o) and for me, sometimes, taking a deep breath and telling myself I can do it (even if it does take longer than I want it to!!!) Yes, I'm familiar with that feeling of anxiety and the voice inside that says "You're going to do it WRONG"!!! And yes, seeing it as a challenge rather than a threat is a helpful comment.

Linda @ Self Help March 26, 2010 at 5:18 am

This is a really good post; thank you for sharing this! I would just like to add to your wonderful post that low self-esteem causes a person to doubt himself, his goals, and his desires. I think that in order to increase one’s self-esteem one has to identify the things that hinder him from achieving his goals. One has to start by deeming himself self worthy; this will give way to more opportunities. It’s also important to take actions to achieving one’s goals and desires. Building one’s self-confidence is hard work, but once a person starts developing positive self-belief, he can then create a life that he truly wants.
.-= Linda @ Self Help´s last blog ..In Search of Phrases for Effective Performance Reviews? Read This First! =-.

Debbie April 13, 2010 at 10:36 pm

When it comes to self-confidence one thing that I always remember is that everyone is not going to agree with me. And no one can please everyone. These are two thing I feel are very important to consider.
.-= Debbie´s last blog ..St. John’s Wort – Is it Nature’s Smile for Happiness? =-.

David April 14, 2010 at 9:31 pm

two great points that are worth carving in stone!

Jay Miles May 10, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Great post, David.

A lack of self-confidence can hinder many a great person’s accomplishments.
I wonder how many ideas have been lost forever because their authors were too afraid of what others might have thought about them?


Farouk May 13, 2010 at 8:07 am

i strongly agree with you David, its the uncertainty that leads to anxiety and poor performance, great post 🙂

Hulbert Lee May 16, 2010 at 12:02 am

Hi David, I just stumbled on this blog. Nice post. I agree that in order to have confidence, we must trust in ourselves and prepare for whatever we are going to face. I like your example with public speaking. Sometimes you cannot control what kind of things are going to happen, but you just have to prepare to the best of your ability and get out there. Going through experiences over and over again will eventually lead to having more self confidence. Thanks David and great blog by the way. 🙂
.-= Hulbert Lee´s last blog ..Attraction – Esther Hicks =-.

JM @ Calgary Psychologist May 17, 2010 at 8:36 am

This might be a late comment, but this is a wonderful post. Thanks for sharing this, David. In addition, I think that in order to build one’s self-confidence. It’s important to know what the individual’s passions are. What makes him motivated? What experiences does he want to get out of his goals? By identifying these passions and underlying values, a person would then begin to focus on the positive aspects of his life, and thus, building his self-esteem along the way.

Karl Perera May 19, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Ambition is a great booster for self-esteem. But too much ambition can also hamper it. Thus, dream as much as you want, but always keep space for reality in your mind. Here, parents play an important role as ambition and self-esteem are the two things that only they can instill in us. Children are always longing for their parents’ approval. A disapproving or over-demanding parent can cause irreparable damage to our self-esteem. If you have been suffering due to this reason, then it is very important to make consistent efforts to break-free from the influence of your parents.

Nea | Self Improvement Saga May 23, 2010 at 4:10 am

I really enjoyed your post. What often helps me to feel confident is to remember that there is perfection in my imperfection. Nobody is perfect and everyone has different “flaws,” which create the opportunity to grow.
.-= Nea | Self Improvement Saga´s last blog ..Why Living a Passionate Life is the Daddy of Self Improvement Ideas =-.

Roseanna Leaton June 21, 2010 at 9:05 am

I like the perspective you are promoting here. So many people do not understand that the fight or flight adrenalin response is simply a natural reaction to perceived threat. They do not look at the cause but instead focus upon the symptoms and worry that they are having a panic attack, heart attack or whatever else they might be afraid of. This of course compounds the issue.

Once you understand it you can deal with it quite easily.

Nancy Shields July 19, 2010 at 4:46 pm

I like that you stated that uncertainty is a challenge instead of a threat…the outlook, the attitude – so true! Great post! I also write inspirational blogs on my new social networking site for women:

Patrick@Reverse Phone Lookup October 8, 2010 at 1:37 pm

That is a very good and inspirational post David.But Building Self Confidence is a long term process.You cannot gain it instantly.

Mark Taylor @ SEO Birmingham November 2, 2010 at 10:56 am

I agree, this is very inspirational. I’ve already bookmarked this page. I feel confident in myself already, just after reading your great post! Thank my friend, keep up the good work!

SenseiMattKlein November 6, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Yes, preparation is the key, as you say. I tell all students when grading for Brown or Black belt, your preparation will make or break you. It will also make you less anxious/nervous on the big day if you are ready.

M.Matthews November 16, 2010 at 3:10 am

Self confidence comes with time and you must allow yourself to become it. Great post and great website you got here!

kamal November 17, 2010 at 4:18 pm

yes the views expressed are nice … Confidence is like great power inside which will take man to great heights of success and wealth

Dave @ Lighting Hire Birmingham December 1, 2010 at 11:39 am

Fantastic post, well expressed views about confidence. It builds a person to be more talkative, as he/she expresses themselves in a crowd, I think confidence is a good thing because it encourages others to be more open around others. Confidence can bring success, wealth, happiness, power and many more.

Nick@Abundance December 27, 2010 at 4:54 pm

“There is hope in dreams, imagination, and in the courage of those who wish to make those dreams a reality.” – Jonas Salk
Our culture has conditioned us all to place extreme importance on knowledge and credentials. These are certainly important but there are things of even greater importance and they are imagination and dreams. This will help us to take action and where we can grow our self confidence and self esteem.

dodie January 3, 2011 at 1:22 am

Excellent write-up, I was impressed because your way of writing is different and as far as I been looking for these days, you definitely have many online visitors.

Andrew @ Blogging Guide January 25, 2011 at 10:30 am

Confidence is important to develop because it is what makes you go for challenges, to take risks, to always think positive and to always assure yourself that you can do it. If others can, you can do it. That is confidence.

Paulineh | On Self Development January 28, 2011 at 9:43 am

My daughter encouraged me to make my own decisions and after working out the worst possible outcome I starting making those decisions and nothing really turned into a disaster. I am so happy she encouraged me and this has given me the confidence to really change my life.

Your post was so well written and reminded me to always prepare to succeed.

Hayden West February 18, 2011 at 5:46 am

Self Confidence is one of the most important things you can ever had…anyone that lacks it really cant get anywhere in their life until they learn how to achieve it. In my own life, my personal self confidence has been directly proportional to my success. Thanks for the wonderful post!

Tammy Matthews March 2, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Well put!! Self confidence will determine success and failure. The belief in one’s self can move mountains.

Balaji Digaamber Ladke March 14, 2011 at 5:10 pm

This note is very important for me because language is clear well known to me.

Nick Grimshawe March 15, 2011 at 1:28 am

Hello David,

I am so happy to rediscover your blog. My apologies for going missing. I am also happy to see you are still blogging on a subject so important to all of us.

Self confidence puts a smile on our faces, determination in our step, and muscle in our heart.

I will be roving around catching up on everything here.


David March 17, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Nice to have you back – you’ve always added value to this blog, keep going with your comments.

Anna@acne treaments May 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm

very inspiring, I could do with some of that right now.

Thinking about it, self-confidence seems to be something you can gradually aquire with age, especially if you had little to begin, and I believe much of this stems from the way in which you were brought up as a child, how much you were teased, how much you tried to be like someone else, and how badly you wanted to fit in, very much a psychological problem imo.

Joyce at I Take Off The Mask June 1, 2011 at 10:35 am

Sometimes, when I find it hard to preserve my self confidence, I find comfort in knowing how I am in God’s own eyes. Things change a lot when we start looking through God’s loving eyes.

Diane June 9, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Great post, thank you for sharing. I feel that the more confident a person get, the more likely they are to be happy with themselves and be open to the world.


William June 20, 2011 at 10:08 pm

The dictionary says realistic confidence, well whats the definition of unrealistic confidence?

Sharon June 20, 2011 at 10:09 pm

This is my first comment on this blog. I have enjoyed your tweets and posts and believe, as you do, that confidence is the building block on which so much personal development lies.
I think confidence is an inner trait, not sure if that is the right word, an inner knowing. I like the acceptability that when we begin to learn something new we are not confident at that thing, but we can be confident in our ability to learn it.
The problems begin when we don’t have confidence in anything we do.
It takes work to be confident, something that children don’t need to think about as they just do.
Perhaps, there’s the secret, just do it and become confident at it.
Looking forward to more post.
The Reinvention Diva

Sajith July 4, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Good post. One point I wanted to make here is that a number of people don’t realize there are angle to look at the self confidence / self esteem equation. Many people try blindly to improve self confidence without realizing that confidence is situational. Another way you can work on it is by improving your self esteem and self worth. This gives you a much wider foundation and gives you the ability to be confident in a wide range of situations

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